Nutrition is such a large part of health, wellness, and your fitness journey. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the topic of nutrition, and we want to try and lay out some simple ground rules for you to fall back to. When it comes to nutrition, there will always be a little trial and error, but we want the errors to be few and fast. Finding out what your body responds to is where the trial and error comes in, but have no fear, we will help you figure it out through offering you some of our smart tips and advice. A few things are important and if you follow these guidelines, you will have a good basis to build upon.
- Balance is important. Each meal should consist of fats, carbohydrates/fiber, and proteins. There is a lot of chatter about nutrients, and confusion whether or not you are getting enough of this or that. If you eat primarily whole foods, then, you do not have to worry about searching for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients outside of these whole foods. You will be getting just enough by eating healthy whole and superfoods.
- Staying true to proper portions is very important. While we don’t recommend driving yourself crazy by counting calories, we do highly recommend you pay very close attention to labels and what the packaging says a portion is. Overeating and undereating is a large part of why some have trouble shedding pounds or gaining muscle. Here are some ways to keep on top of your portions:
- Use a scale and measuring cups to measure things out
- Follow package portion sizes
- Use your hand as your portion guide by following these guidelines. This is especially convenient when you are dining out at a restaurant. (insert the PN hand guide here)
- Moderation is also important. While we advise you not to consume simple carbohydrates, we also do not want you to place stress on eating. Eating should not be a stressful thing, and you can allow yourself the decadent, naughty things that you sometimes love. Moderation is key here. If you want to have a couple of cookies, then by all means, have a couple of cookies. You just cannot make this a habit, and have a couple of cookies every night. Make healthy lifestyle habits with moderation as your guide. If you know you will be attending a party or wedding on a weekend, then you should make sure that the rest of your week is very healthy.
- Hydration. Our bodies are made up of 50% to 75% water. Our muscle mass is 75% water. The brain and heart are 73% water. The lungs are about 83% water. The skin is 64% and the bones are 31% water. Are you getting how important water is to the human body? Gone are the days where the recommended daily consumption of water is 60 ounces. Welcome to the 80 ounces or more days!! We are constantly losing water through breathing, exercise, and bowel and urine movements. Water is essential to all of your major and minor organs and for normal bodily functions and metabolism.
- Gut Health. Our digestive system can be easily disrupted by unhealthy bacteria and cause you to have gas, indigestion, and other types of stomach issues. Other issues can also present outside of the body in the form of skin and hair issues. Consuming prebiotics and probiotics are essential for a healthy gut and digestive system. This takes us back to the importance of eating whole foods and not consuming processed high sugar foods. Your gut health is reliant on fiber(whole grains) and foods containing live microorganisms (fermented foods) to maintain or return to its healthy status.
- Food choices. Food options in and outside of the grocery market are so abundant that it leads us to make interesting food choices. If your fall back 90-100% of the time is to choose the healthier option, then I think you have established a healthy eating foundation. That foundation can always be built upon!! But starting with making smarter choices is a great start to getting your nutrition habits on track to obtaining your goals.
- Choose whole foods
- Choose minimally processed foods
- Choose no added sugar, or low sugar
- Choose non genetically modified
- Choose to make smarter choices
Start thinking about these guidelines as you shop for groceries and plan your meals. Be thoughtful when you eat out, and consider what may be happening during the rest of the week so that you are not having multiple days of less than healthy meals. Don’t let eating become a stressful event. And get ready to explore and introduce yourself to new things.
Be health and well,